No entrepreneur dreams of starting a business, taking over their local market and then stopping. No way. Deep down, every business owner wants to do what Pinky and The Brain tried to do, “take over the world.” Of course you do. It is how to take your business to the next level. It’s a natural want to see if your idea is able to expand and attract a completely new audience. Of course, this is no easy feat. Getting a larger slice of the market in your original country is hard enough, so taking a portion of the international market is bound to be a tall order.
There’s just a lot more to think about and challenges that never applied to your original launch. As such, we went and spoke to a few entrepreneurs that managed the transition from domestic to global and asked them to share the lessons they learned along the way.
Alter That Pitch
Forget what you did in that pitching meeting that got you started back home. That probably won’t work for you abroad. There are just different ways of doing things at every different place you try and launch, and your best bet is to adjust your pitch to meet the local standards. Let’s say you successful pitched a sale in America, that doesn’t mean your pitch will work in Russia. The content may need adjusting, the approach could do with a tweak, it could even be an entire overhaul that is necessary.
Don’t Forget Your Past
You were successful in America; don’t forget that. The reason being, the success you managed in the past is probably going to be what helps you succeed in the future because, well, success breeds success. If you can show how your business grew back home, your pitch becomes a lot stronger immediately. Yes, it doesn’t guarantee success in, let’s use Russia again, but it is better than having absolutely no past success whatsoever. It builds trust and improves your odds.
Choose An HQ Wisely
You may not think this is all that important, but it can have a huge impact. One of the reasons for this is because some countries demand you have a registered office in order to be able to operate there. This is true when it comes to starting a business. Another reason it is so important is, where you find top talent will be a big factor in your success, and a location is a big factor in where that talent is. Remember, this is where you are going to first launch your business, so it needs to flourish in order to be a success and spread. Pick on what your needs are, not on what trends say.
Know Local Nuances
There are always going to be local communications issues no matter what market you extend into. That is part of the game. But cultural differences can have a big impact, not least because local markets just have their own way of doing and saying things, which may be completely different from what you experienced back home. Let’s say, you launched in America; they throw around really positive comments willy-nilly; it doesn’t mean you are going to close a deal. Take that to Russia, they won’t beat around the bush. They tell it like it is, in the same way a lot of Europe does. If they say it is going well, they mean it. It can be a really misleading process, but you need to know what means what and not have too many expectations until the deal is done.